Woodbury boys hockey: Royals slip to Bears, Mounds ViewAfter a strong start for the 2011-12 season, the Royals have stumbled of late, winning just one of their last four games.
By: Mike Longaecker, Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
After a strong start for the 2011-12 season, the Royals have stumbled of late, winning just one of their last four games.
The latest loss came against Mounds View, which had been winless in Suburban East Conference play heading into the Saturday, Dec. 17 game. The Mustangs dropped the Royals 3-2, two days after Woodbury finished in a 2-2 tie with White Bear Lake.
In both games, Woodbury allowed crucial goals during the second period.
“We’re not a very good second-period team,” Royals head coach Wes Bolin said. “We also have difficulty bouncing back when the other team scores.”
Heading into this week’s action, the Royals were 4-2-2 overall and 1-2-2 in the SEC.
In the road game against Mounds View, the Royals jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period when junior forward Dan Armstrong netted a goal at 13:14. He was assisted by Chase Myers-Beck and Tanner Antolak.
But the Royals were knocked back on their heels in the second frame, when the Mustangs unleashed all three of their goals.
Woodbury didn’t return fire until 12:16 in the third period, when senior forward Blake Kelley scored, with assists going to Tyler Tuneberg and Evan Erickson.
Mounds View outshot Woodbury 33 to 28. Royals goalie Josh Erickson recorded 30 saves on the night.
The White Bear Lake game – played Thursday, Dec. 15 at Bielenberg Ice Arena – began in similar fashion.
Woodbury lit the lamp right away in the first period. Sophomore forward Jack Glaeser scored a goal on his first-ever varsity shift, after emerging from a back injury that had limited his play.
Woodbury held the 1-0 lead through the first period and quickly built on it in the second, when senior defenseman Joey Lindberg scored during a five-on-three power play opportunity.
Then the Bears took over.
Using a potent defense that kept the puck in Woodbury’s zone for the majority of the second and third periods, White Bear Lake capitalized on its possession, logging two goals in the second frame.
“That kind of took the wind out of our sails,” Bolin said.
But Woodbury bounced back in overtime and came agonizingly close to scoring the game-winner.
“We thought we had a victory, but apparently not,” Bolin said.
He said Evan Erickson took an Evan Broadbent pass past the Bears’ goalie, which resulted in a Woodbury celebration. The officiating crew, however, did not record it as a goal.
Bolin said he told his team not to get too down after the would-be game winner.
“I’d much rather have had tied that game and us thinking we’d scored,” he said.
Evan Erickson leads the Royals in points on the season with 12, off seven goals and five assists. Myers-Beck is second in points with eight, followed by Kelley with seven.
Josh Erickson, who did not start the first period against White Bear Lake, has compiled a .930 save percentage, stopping 227 of 244 shots through six games.
The Royals took on Eastview in a road matchup Tuesday that was played after the Bulletin went to press. After that, the Royals have a break until the Christmas tournament in St. Paul, where they open play against SEC foe Hastings.